Kemba Walker made a costly turnover during the Boston Celtics’ 105-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at TD Garden on Sunday.
The Celtics point guard knows it too.
“It’s frustrating,” Walker said after the loss, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “That’s the second time it’s happened in three games, so I’ve just got to be better and find a way.”
His Celtics teammates aren’t willing to let him take the blame for the defeat, however.
“A lot of people said something to him,” Gordon Hayward said. “Definitely not why we lost the game.
“Most of us have been there — I’ve been there — and it sucks when something like that happens, but he’s still the same player who has carried us a lot this season,” Hayward added. “So we need him, and it’s on all of us. We lost this game together.”
Jayson Tatum went over to Walker following the turnover, which gave the Thunder the one-point lead with 8.5 seconds remaining.
“Just next play,” Tatum said, noting what he tried to tell Walker during that moment. “I felt like we were going to win the game. Everybody made mistakes tonight. That’s what teammates do, you pick each other up.”
Head coach Brad Stevens said much of the same, adding Walker did the “right thing” by trying to outrun the trap from Oklahoma City guards Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder. And Stevens, like other Celtics teammates, knows they will need Walker to shake this off for him, and them, to be that their best in the coming weeks.
“Kemba is one of our best players. We need him to have a chance to do anything significant, and we all know know it,” Stevens said.
The Celtics will look to get back in the win column Tuesday at the Indiana Pacers.